Jan 11, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Because the oil and gas sector is part and parcel of Guyana’s economy, its legislative reform will not be tackled in isolation. Sharing this revelation was Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall.
In fact, during his appearance last week on Kaieteur Radio’s Guyana’s Oil and You, Nandlall was keen to point out that it would be “myopic”, in his view, to have legislative reform confined to the oil and gas sector. And now that the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) is in government, Nandlall says that it has to move with alacrity in proceeding to build not only a legislative agenda for the oil and gas sector, but an agenda that will enable the country to use the benefits and proceeds from the same sector to develop other zones in the economy.
By the same token, however, the AG emphasized the importance of modernising the oil and gas sector’s legislation to protect the environment; to ensure that local content policy imperatives are “underscored, protected and advanced”; to make certain that the sector is managed by technocrats, not politicians; as well as a legislative framework that will stipulate how oil proceeds will be recovered, saved and invested for the future.
“And those are the main ones concerning the oil and gas sector,” the AG noted.
Nandlall said that outside of the oil and gas sector, there will be “tremendous opportunities and new endeavours” in various other sectors. In giving an example, he recalled that several international hotels have expressed interest in establishing their presence in Guyana. In support of these interests, Nandlall said that the foundation is being laid for the anticipated boom in the hospitality industry, which is being executed through the creation of “service-type”, condominium and proper zoning legislation.
In addition, the AG highlighted that discussions are also being held on revamping the 100-year-old legislative architecture of the public health system, which he labels as “out of sync with public health realities”.
The modernising and revamping of legislation for the agricultural and manufacturing sectors are two other items on the legislative agenda. Forming legislation for those respective sectors that will enable a progressive agricultural and manufacturing agenda aimed at protecting farmers, manufacturers, food/ product security, regulating production for large scale, as well as those products that are yet to be manufactured, will also be prioritised Nandlall said.
“I gave you just those few examples to show how broad-based and all-embracing our legislative agenda is going to be and must be. So understandably, it is a work in progress,” the AG states.
He added too that all the various agencies in central government will be pursuing legislative agendas to suit their own peculiarities, thereby culminating a national legislative agenda.
Notably, the government is moving towards the establishment of the Law Reform Commission, which will serve as one of the driving forces for the reform needed.
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